As I was flicking through the latest edition of the Brickebacken newsletter, BrickeNytt, the other day, I saw an advertisement for walking sticks, or gåstaver, as they are called in Swedish. It is possible, it seems, to borrow them from the library for 14 days at a times, if you have a loan card.
These walking sticks are amazingly popular here, but I have not noticed them much in Australia. They are used for Nordic Walking, something I have never heard of until I came here. This style of walking is clearly for exercise, not for pleasure, unless, of course, you believe these two things are one and the same.
The sticks, I take it, are designed to make you move your upper body as well as your legs. They are not really for support, in the traditional style of walking sticks. You use two sticks, much as you would use ski poles for cross country skiing. In fact, since the snow has come I keep thinking people are skiing down the footpath. What usually gives them away is their age. Most skiers are younger, most walkers are older. Walking sticks like this are apparently very popular with women from about 50 years and up.
I´m not sure that 14 days of walking will necessarily transform your life, but I suppose it might be a good way for people to catch the bug. Anything that gets people out walking has got to be a good thing.